Hue Jackson Will Lead the Oakland Raiders Back to Prominence

Hue Jackson has been a successful teacher in the NFL for the last decade. He has turned good players into Pro Bowlers and league leaders. He has turned historically stagnant offenses into juggernauts. Now the coach who has been overqualified for the last two years gets a shot to lead the most infamous team in professional sports, the Oakland Raiders.

Jackson began his professional coaching career with the Washington Redskins in 2001. He was the running backs coach with the Redskins and worked with Stephen Davis. Under Jackson’s tutelage, Davis finished third in the league in rushing and made the Pro Bowl. He then moved to the Cincinnati Bengals and helped develop a young receiver named T.J. Houshmandzadeh. A 2001 seventh-round selection, Houshmandzadeh was a long-shot to make the team and had even less of a chance of starting. The former Oregon State Beaver had a total of 62 catches for 720 yards and one touchdown in the three years prior to Jackson’s arrival.

In Jackson’s first year as receivers coach with the Bengals, TJ caught 73 balls for 978 yards and four touchdowns. The Bengals as a wide receiver unit were feared throughout the league and Houshmandzadeh continued to flourish. Jackson then took over the offensive coordinator position in Atlanta, but instead of working with one of the biggest stars in football, he was handed Joey Harrington.

A dogfighting trial ensured Michael Vick would be in prison stripes instead of a Falcons uniform. This left the new OC with vagabond quarterback Joey Harrington and Chris Redmond. Yet, as most great coaches do, Jackson found something for the Falcon offense to hang their hat on. In this case, that something turned out to be someone and that someone turned out Roddy White.

White spent the first two years of his career toiling in first-round obscurity. Once Jackson came to the ATL, the talent White displayed in college miraculously appeared. Much like Stephen D...

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